Labour’s style of debating

Listening to Rosie Winterton last night on the Any Questions Panel, I became angry about the way Labour handle every criticism and every difficult issue the Opposition and the public put to them.

They always assert they are completely right. They refuse to accept there could be any other answer or way of handling things. They then decide to lie about those who put the criticisms.

In recent encounters Labour has sought to claim that I wished to deregulate mortgage banking, that I wanted banks to go to the wall, and that I wish to cut expenditure on new schools and Colleges.

Each one of these claims is a lie.

As readers of this blog will know, I proposed tightening the regulation of capital and liquidity and rebuilding the Bank of England’s powers to control the mortgage banks and other banks in the summer of 2007. I have set out many options to keep the banks afloat, including timely warmnings of the need for more liquidity in markets before Northern Rock went under in order to prevent that collapse. I have never suggested letting a major financial institution go into bankruptcy. I have never proposed cutting expenditure on schools or colleges.

I just hope that the public is at last seeing through this propoganda technique of Labour. I do not go round attributing false views to them. I have enough on my hands trying to make the public aware of all the damaging things they do do, without having to make things up to make my case.

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13 Comments

  1. John Lancaster
    Posted November 15, 2008 at 11:19 am | Permalink

    You are absolutely right, but the Conservative response has to be far more agressive and robust. That is why they seem to get away with it. Once the lies are consistently revealed as such, they will not use this tactic. Whilst they get away with it, they will play this silly game. Mandleson and Campbell are past masters.

  2. John of Enfield
    Posted November 15, 2008 at 11:20 am | Permalink

    This is part of a fundamental technique of New Labour. Deny, rebut, smear. Every member of the government is highly skilled at it. As Michael Howard said to Alistair Campbell at the close of a Newsnight discussion of distant memory "YOU have done more to poison the political climate of this country…".

  3. Brian Tomkinson
    Posted November 15, 2008 at 11:36 am | Permalink

    I listened to Any Questions last night and I think you can take some solace from the fact that your answers normally produced the loudest applause from the audience and the clueless Rosie Winterton's answers on several occasions resulted in derisory laughter. It is annoying the way Labour politicians and their supporters deliberately lie and distort the views of the opposition parties. This has long been the case but now that Mandelson and Campbell are back it has reached a new level of intensity. I have observed you on a number of occasions recently quite rightly reacting in a measured but vociferous way to such calumnies. I fear that you will have to continue in this vein as it is in the DNA of these Labour politicians to behave in this way – you only need to listen to their leader to understand this.

  4. Amanda
    Posted November 15, 2008 at 11:47 am | Permalink

    Yes, they've been doing this for years, and doing this increasingly – and the media let them get away with it. So the Conservatives need to get smart about politics and find a voice and a means to talk with people. Blogs are one way, using grassroots is another – the public are angry and getting angrier now is the time to channel that into local politics for local democracy. After all, isn't local govenance and personal responsibility a key Conservative policy?

    History has many examples of how 'ordinary people' have banded together under authoritarian and lying governments. Not only can those be copied, but technology gives us new means to employ.

  5. Posted November 15, 2008 at 11:57 am | Permalink

    I had a giggle at this Mr Redwood, as it appears you feel the thrust of the lying Labour poker tongues too and we Conservative forum users are not alone. I commiserate with you every inch of the way.

    Zanu-LieBore, will have its last day soon enough and then they'll be all wringing their hands with woe at the slendid job we will make of ripping up their worst laid plans which they've installed these last 11 years, and ferreting out the idiotic decisions they've been making and leaking same.

    Despite we are in a pickle economically, this country will pull round and it can only ever do that with a Conservative Government.

    Don't worry Mr Redwood, most of the country I'm sure, are that switched off from Labour, they probably don't even listen to them anymore. I know I don't.

  6. Posted November 15, 2008 at 12:04 pm | Permalink

    I think to help this obvious truth and to blow NL's lies out of the water somebody needs to actually say it LIVE ON TV. A response such as "why do you lie so much?"…"why do you all tell so many lies?" or similar: there will be an immediate and loud response and probably a massive media follow up all leading to what we all know…that what they say is indeed not true.

    Reply: That's what I did on Newsnight recently

  7. Lola
    Posted November 15, 2008 at 2:40 pm | Permalink

    It's the standard lefty technique in argument to answer ones question with a statement about what you are saying (which of course is NOT what you said) and then point out why it is not true. You then have to correct their statement and the argument shifts from the issue that was asked to the point they wanted to debate or you have to defend yourself about your 'lies' and again the argument shifts from the point to your probity. It's a version of the Socratic technique of constantly asking questions to test your interlocutors position. You can just envisage all the lefty apparatchiks sitting around working all this out when all proper people are getting a life.

    I have suffered this all my life when trying to engage in rational discussion with lefties and I have developed various techniques for dealing with it, but it is very tiresome. At heart I think they do this because they know that their philosophy is entirely flawed and can only be implemented by deceit.

    I have a cousin with whom I often used to argue on lefty vs righty (Statism vs Freedom in my view) issues and she always reverted to this technique. I have haven't bothered to keep in touch with her directly but I understand that she has been a policy adviser to New Labour…..

    • APL
      Posted November 17, 2008 at 2:42 pm | Permalink

      Lola: "(Statism vs Freedom in my view)"

      Yes. Left vs Right is square peg in a round hold type of description.

      You are correct, it really is Statism (Facisism in fact) verses Freedom & Liberty.

      The trouble is, for many quite good people, the idea that something must be done is very alluring and the first organisation they think of to 'do something' is the State.

      Of course employees of the State are always on the look out to build and expand their empires.

  8. mikestallard
    Posted November 15, 2008 at 7:05 pm | Permalink

    You are totally right about the three points which you were accused of: verdict: not guilty Mr Redwood!
    One of the endearing things about the Conservatives is this. When mr Blair and Co were vying for power, they went on and on about sleaze. they were horrified when the masked figure of Tony appeared "New Labour new Danger". They were, frankly disgusted with such behaviour. You see, they were whiter than white and they therefore demanded to be the government to get Britain, kicking and screaming etc etc.
    We now know what happened. Hypocrisy is certainly something which has increased one a 150 percentile fractionality during their tenure and they have overdelivered on their target figures.
    I notice that the Conservatives have refrained, largely, from copying them.
    I like them for that.
    Now – out and get them by telling it like it is!

  9. Alan Douglas
    Posted November 16, 2008 at 12:55 am | Permalink

    Somewhere I read a phrase :

    The more you tell lies about me, the more I will tell the truth about you.

    Finally the Conservatives are getting NOISY !

    Only this will impinge on a docile electorate.

    Alan Douglas

    • Posted November 16, 2008 at 3:10 pm | Permalink

      I think you mean "If the Republicans will stop telling lies about us, we will stop telling the truth about them."

      It was Governor Adlai Stevenson in 1952, about the then Republican VP candidate, Richard "Tricky Dicky" Nixon. A great one-liner, knowing that he would never have to honour that promise against the likes of Nixon. It did him no good unfortunately – Eisenhower still won by a country league.

  10. THE ESSEX BOYS
    Posted November 16, 2008 at 1:33 am | Permalink

    A prompt and loud interjection of 'Pinochio' often stops a congenital liar in his tracks and puts him off his stroke. You'll even find the crowd warm to you.

    We used to write to Michael Howard and urge him to get the troops to greet every blatant 'eye-catching initiative' with cries of Ay-Ay-Ay to show Labour they'd been rumbled from the outset. (In the pre-blogging days it was quite easy for him to ignore all our suggestions and eventually to lose the plot, disastrously, over Iraq!)
    Nothing like a bit of ridicule to prick their bubble and to counter pomposity, cant and lies!

    As we blogged earlier, you showed Rosie W to be the Prescott-loving airhead we know her to be and demonstrated that YOU read all your correspondence even if SHE clearly (and also disastrously) doesn't!

  11. Archie
    Posted November 16, 2008 at 2:08 pm | Permalink

    I was very glad to hear you put that ghastly tabloid creep in his place AND draw more applause from the audience than Miss Winterton, who appears to be a Hazel Blears clone without the intellect, if that's the word I'm looking for!
    However I have to agree with others here and elsewhere that the Conservatives have to raise their game and be constantly and vociferously on the attack or they risk being drowned out by the lies. Time is short!

  • About John Redwood


    John Redwood won a free place at Kent College, Canterbury, and graduated from Magdalen College Oxford. He is a Distinguished fellow of All Souls, Oxford. A businessman by background, he has set up an investment management business, was both executive and non executive chairman of a quoted industrial PLC, and chaired a manufacturing company with factories in Birmingham, Chicago, India and China. He is the MP for Wokingham, first elected in 1987.

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